Working in Canada

If you are an international student and you want to work in Canada, you need to follow certain regulations and may require a work permit. Find out what rules to follow and, if needed, how to get a work permit.

Required permits to work in Canada

Work experience can help you prepare for your career, gain exposure to the Canadian workplace, earn extra money, and form a closer connection to the local community.

As an international student, there are several types of work you can do in Canada. Some of them will require applying for a specific work permit. Use the section below to determine what type of work rules you need to follow.

If you will be working in a job in agriculture-related fields or public health or health sciences (e.g. health care workers, clinical laboratory workers, medical students, primary and secondary school teachers) and you will be in close contact with patients, children, the elderly, etc., you must complete a medical exam.

A medical exam is required to ensure you have the right conditions placed on your study permit or work permit that allows you to work in these jobs before starting to work. Visit IRCC’s website to find out if you need a medical exam or meet with an International Student Advisor.

Mexican and U.S. citizens with a bachelor’s or licenciatura in certain fields may be eligible for a NAFTA work permit. Our office does not advise on eligibility for work permits under NAFTA, but detailed information can be found on the IRCC website.

If you would like to start your own business in British Columbia, please consult Small Business BC.

On-campus work: Conditions you have to meet

You do not need a work permit in order to work on campus while attending UBC, as your study permit gives you permission to work unlimited hours on-campus as long you are registered in full-time studies. There are certain conditions you must observe to work on campus.

Off-campus work: Conditions you have to meet

Students in degree, diploma or certificate programs do not need a work permit to work off campus while attending UBC, as your study permit gives you permission to work off campus as long as you are registered in full-time studies. If eligible, you can work up to 20 hours per week during regular academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks. There are certain conditions you must observe to work off campus.

Co-op placement or internships: Permits required

You will need a Co-op work permit if the work is integral to your academic program. Remember to complete a medical exam before applying for your Co-op/internship work permit if your Co-op or internship is a job in agriculture related fields, public health or health sciences.

Volunteer (unpaid) or work that's NOT integral to your academic program: Conditions

Some volunteer positions and internships (paid or unpaid) may be considered work by IRCC – for example, if you volunteered for a job that is normally performed by paid employees (photocopying, customer service, etc.), it is considered work regardless of whether you are paid or not. Review the meaning of work according to the IRCC definition to decide. If your volunteer position or internship is considered work, you must have the appropriate work authorization before you start.

After you graduate: Post-Graduation Work Permit

Work for spouse or common-law partner: Spouse/Partner Work Permit

Lost or stolen documents


If your passport has been lost or stolen, contact an International Student Advisor and follow these steps:

  1. Contact the nearest police department or RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) to report that your passport has been lost or stolen. Keep any file numbers or documents they provide so you can prove you contacted them.
  2. Contact your country’s consulate or embassy in Canada for instructions on how to get a new passport.

Documents (e.g. study or work permit)

If your study permit was also stolen, apply to replace your study permit for a fee. The processing time varies, but it can take several weeks. If you need a study permit urgently, you can include “proof of urgency” with your application.

If your passport with a valid TRV is lost or stolen, you must first replace your passport. Once you have a new passport, you can apply for a new TRV. Include a letter of explanation that contains the police report number and a brief explanation why you are applying. 

Find work

Get help

International Student Advising

Talk to an advisor

International Student Advisors are Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultants (RCICs) or Regulated International Student Immigration Advisors (RISIAs) who can help.

When emailing us, include the following information in the email:

  1. Your student number in the subject line
  2. Your name
  3. Your citizenship(s)
  4. All permit and visa expiration dates (if applicable)
  5. Currently in Canada (YES or NO)
  6. If you request specific assistance, please provide detailed information including applicable documents, such as a rejection letter
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